The Caledonian Sleeper is a long-distance sleeper train that operates daily (except on Saturdays) between Euston Station in London, England and five stations in Scotland — Glasgow Central, Edinburgh Waverley, Fort William, Aberdeen and Inverness. It is one of only two overnight services in the United Kingdom, and provides both standard seating and private cabins with beds.

During my recent trip to the UK, I reserved a wheelchair accessible cabin on the Caledonian Sleeper from London to Glasgow, as it provided a cost-effective way to travel between the two cities, while eliminating the need for one night in a hotel.

Booking a Wheelchair Accessible Ride on the Caledonian Sleeper Train

The Caledonian Sleeper’s Mark 5 coaches feature two types of accessible accommodation — one cabin with a double bed, and another with a bunk bed (two single/twin-sized beds). Since I was traveling alone and without a carer, I opted for the double bed.

Screenshot of Caledonian Sleeper booking page on website.

Accessible cabins can be booked directly from the Caledonian Sleeper website, with a toggle to display accessible seating options. On the date of my travel, fares were priced at £205 GBP (about $256 USD) for a private cabin, or £50 GBP (about $63 USD) for a seat and wheelchair space in the standard coach.

Caledonian Sleeper fare calendar.

The website also provides a fare calendar to compare pricing, and I found that my date of departure offered the lowest fare during the month of April. Other dates showed fares of £225, £240, or £250 GBP. I was happy to have secured a good deal and completed my booking.

Though 200 pounds may seem like an expensive fare, it’s important to consider the cost (and hassle) of alternate transportation options between London and Glasgow, as well as the cost of overnight accommodation in a hotel. I definitely saved money booking a cabin on the Caledonian Sleeper, and didn’t have to deal with airport security, baggage charges, or being separated from my wheelchair!

Boarding and Departure

Passengers departing on the Caledonian Sleeper train to Glasgow are invited to board the train as early as 10:15 p.m., with the service scheduled to depart from Euston Station at 11:45 p.m. This offers guests plenty of time to embark and settle in, as well as to get a head start on sleep if desired.

Elongated wheelchair ramp from station platform to train door.

Although customers who have booked a private cabin have access to a lounge with light refreshments at Euston Station, I arrived close to departure (a few minutes after 11 p.m.), and decided to head straight to the train. The conductor scanned my mobile ticket and fetched a boarding ramp to assist me onto the train. The boarding process was quick, hassle-free, and I was shown to my wheelchair accessible cabin.

Wheelchair Accessible Cabin on the Caledonian Sleeper Train

Immediately after boarding car J, I turned to the left and noticed two large doors: one leading to an accessible shared bathroom, and the second leading to my wheelchair accessible cabin.

The cabin attendant presented me with a plastic key card, making it seem as though I had just checked-in to a hotel. Indeed, the Caledonian Sleeper has been called a “hotel on wheels” and, with a tap of the key card, the door to the Caledonian Sleeper’s accessible cabin opened to reveal a fantastic accommodation.

Entrance to accessible sleeping cabin.

My cabin, numbered J1, was easily accessible via the wide (and automatic) sliding door. The accessible cabin, like the standard cabins behind it, takes up the majority of the train car’s width, which provided plenty of space to maneuver and park my power wheelchair.

The accessible cabin features a wash basin and mirror, perfect for freshening up before bed, as well as a table for work or dining. The large window had a shade, which I drew down to prepare for a restful night’s sleep.

Double bed in accessible cabin.

The double bed was comfortable, made up with a lovely duvet and outfitted with four pillows. Though any train ride will leave riders bouncing up and down and swaying back and forth, I had no difficulty sleeping — the bed was a comfortable and welcomer sight after a long day or air travel and meetings in London.

Controls for the cabin lighting are located on a panel over the bed, and there are multiple power outlets and USB ports spread throughout the cabin. Unfortunately, I multiple warnings after booking that stated the power outlets are NOT designed for charging wheelchairs or other medical equipment, and are in fact only available for charging tablets, laptops and mobile phones.

Beneath the bed, I found open space suitable for storing bags, but believe it was also large enough to accommodate the use of a transfer hoist.

Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom on the Caledonian Sleeper Train

Although standard cabins on the train provide an en suite toilet and shower, wheelchair accessible cabins do not, and I was left to use the shared toilet adjacent to my cabin. I believe that I was the only passenger using this toilet, though it could theoretically be used by any passenger on the train.

The accessible bathroom was designed wonderfully, with space to turn about in a wheelchair, and also to park directly alongside the toilet for a safe transfer. Grab bars on both sides of the toilet made it easy and safe to use, and the bathroom sink was a roll under one. The Caledonian Sleeper train had one of the most accessible train lavatories I have reviewed, and I was happy to have it located so close to my cabin!

Caledonian Sleeper Amenities and Dining

Upon entry to my cabin, I was greeted with two chocolate bars on the bed, as well as a sleep kit with eye shades and earplugs.

Passengers in the Club Car and accessible sleeper cabins receive complimentary breakfast, either served in the dining car (which is partially accessible and located in the adjacent car K) or delivered to the cabin. Given my long travel from the United States to London the day before, and my plans for a busy day in Glasgow on arrival, I needed to prioritize sleep and opted for room service.

The options for breakfast delivered to the cabin included a Scottish Porridge Pot, Granola Yoghurt, Bacon or Sausage Roll, and a Vegan Roll. More substantial options were available in the dining car, including a traditional Scottish breakfast, a smoked fish frittata, and a traditional vegan breakfast. I opted for the sausage roll, with orange juice and coffee, but I soon regretted not visiting the dining car for the larger breakfast (it wasn’t very filling!).

Final Thoughts

Too few sleeper trains around the world offer a sufficient level of accessibility for travelers with disabilities, but the Caledonian Sleeper train really stands out for its thoughtfully designed wheelchair accessible cabins.

The Caledonian Sleeper train offers disabled and nondisabled people alike a unique travel experience that is comfortable, accessible and convenient. In my view, there is no better way to travel between England and Scotland, especially for wheelchair users, and I hope to experience many more rides aboard the Caledonian Sleeper in the future.

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